The Dukes of Stratosphear was a pseudonym used by XTC in the mid to late 1980s, concurrently with XTC's continued musical activities. The project was intended as a homage to 1960s pop and psychedelic music by groups such as The Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd and The Pretty Things.
The band released two records by this pseudonym, the EP 25 O'Clock (1985), and the full-length album Psonic Psunspot (1987). The two releases were compiled onto a single CD under the title Chips from the Chocolate Fireball: An Anthology, which was released simultaneously with the vinyl issue of Psonic Psunspot. The Dukes were also mentioned in the credits of XTC's 1986 album Skylarking, where they were thanked for the loan of their guitars.
The band briefly reformed in 2003, to record the track "Open A Can (Of Human Beans)" for the MS Society charity compilation album The Wish List. The track was later included on Andy Partridge's compilation Fuzzy Warbles Volume 7 (2006).
The pseudonymous personnel included:
- Sir John Johns (Andy Partridge) - singing, guitar, brain buds
- The Red Curtain (Colin Moulding) - electric bass, song stuff
- Lord Cornelius Plum (Dave Gregory) - mellotron, piano, organ, fuzz-tone guitar
- E.I.E.I. Owen (Ian Gregory) - drum set
Both 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot were produced by John Leckie.